A requirement of law, which has become a daily practice in civilized countries around the world, is the writing of Deed of conveyance as evidence of the contract of sale of land, lease, mortgage and other land transactions.
The use of Deed of conveyance is well provided for in section 4 of the Statute of Frauds, which is well reiterated in section 5 .which provides thus:
This section applies to – (a) every contract for the sale of land; (b) every contract to enter into any disposition of land being a disposition that is required by any enactment to be made by deed or instrument or in writing or to be proved in writing; (c) every contract to enter into any mortgage or charge on land; and (d) every contract by any person to answer to another person for the debt, default or liability of a third person. (2) No contract to which this section applies shall be enforceable by action unless the contract or some memorandum or note in respect therefore is in writing and is signed by the party to be charged therewith or by some other person lawfully authorized by him.
In furtherance of the above, the law has assigned these responsibilities to lawyers in Nigeria and it is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for a non-lawyer to draft a deed of conveyance for another for a fee.
As with any discipline, law has its own language of communication which is considered by some lay-persons as legal jargons. However, such languages are employed, in order to achieve the purpose of protecting all parties to the contract and preserving the terms agreed by parties in a deed of conveyance even for their future generations.
In this edition, we shall attempt to simplify or break down the terms usually contained in a deed of assignment and the legal effect of these terms, to create an understanding of this. Come lets us journey into the world of law and lawyers.
What is a Deed of Conveyance:
A deed of conveyance is a written instrument through which title in a property is passed on from the owner of the property to the buyer, to a lessee etc.
Basic Terms of a Lease:
- VENDOR: this is the owner of the land that intends to sell or selling his land to another.
- BUYER: the person buying the land or property.
- ASSIGNMENT: in a deed of conveyance of a land or property, assignment is the act of giving to another, his remaining interest in a property. So in simply means selling off your title in a land or property.
- ASSIGNOR: this is another term for vendor. It is usually used when the deed is titled ‘Deed of Assignment’.
- ASSIGNEE: this term is used in a deed of conveyance, where the deed is titled ‘deed of assignment’ to mean the buyer of the land or property.
- HEREINAFTER: it means otherwise known.
- WHEREAS: This means a short history of how the owners became owners of the land and desire to sell to the buyer.
- RECITAL: means same as Whereas.
- PRECEDECESOR-IN-TITLE: This is the person who sold to the seller (vendor) who is selling to you.
- SUCCESSORS-IN-TITLE: This means those whom you shall pass title to the land or property to either through sale, gift, Will or otherwise.
- CONSIDERATION: When the word ‘consideration’ is used in a deed of conveyance, it does not in any way mean to consider something or someone. Rather it means MONEY paid for the land.
- Lying, Being and Situate: simply means the land is located in that location.
- FREEHOLD ESTATE: it means that the land is sold for life (forever) and not a lease.
- EXECUTORS: These are persons appointed in a Will to assist the maker of the will, execute his intentions and wishes in the Will. Its presence in the introductory part of the Deed of conveyance, simply means the ownership of the land and the contract of the sale of the land is also binding on the Executors, in case the owner dies and writes a Will.
- ADMINISTRATORS: the same meaning as executors applies, only that an administrators here mean persons appointed to administer the estate(properties/monies) of a dead person.
- ASSIGNS: it means anybody that the land is sold to in the future.
- BENEFICIAL OWNER: it means the vendor became owner of the land, in that it was passed over to him for his benefits e.g. through inheritance.
- INDEMNITY: it is a term in a deed whereby the vendor of the land agreed or covenanted to reimburse the buyer of the land, if the sale turns sour.
- DEFECTIVE TITLE: it means the vendor who sold the land is either not the true owner of the land or property.
- IN WITNESS OF WHICH: this clause simply means that the agreement is witnessed by those who sign as witness.
- SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED: it means that the document has been well executed by the parties. i.e. signed by the parties.
This topic springs from my experience that most of our clients whom my office has prepared Deeds of Conveyance and other property related documents quite appreciate the thorough and professional approach, with which we prepare these documents, with a view to protecting their interest, it is observed that they do not understand the various terms inserted in the Deed of conveyance.
We have we have educated you on this issue. For further clarification, enquiry or there is need to prepare any form of Deed and you need to talk to a professional to guide, feel free to place a call/whatsapp to +2348034869295 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.